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Environment Texas Citizen Lobby, Inc. v. ExxonMobil Corp.

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20180
Nos. 17-20545, (5th Cir., 07/29/2020)

The Fifth Circuit vacated and remanded a lower court decision that imposed penalties against an oil company for alleged CAA permit violations at its industrial complex in Baytown, Texas. Environmental groups filed a CAA citizen suit against the company, alleging violations that occurred thousands of times over a nearly eight-year period. The district court found that the alleged violations were actionable, and imposed a $19.95 million civil penalty. On appeal, the court found that because the violations the groups alleged varied greatly both in terms of type and scale, they needed to prove standing for each violation, but that the district court had failed to determine whether their members' injuries were traceable to each violation. It therefore vacated the district court ruling and remanded to allow the court to make additional findings on traceability.